Box of Balloons: All kids should be able to celebrate their birthdays (Column)

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Note: The Lawrence Times is offering some space for area organizations and organizers to express their views, provide updates and attempt to reach other folks who might share their mission. This post is contributed content (i.e., not produced by the Times staff). See more in our Community Voices section, or see how to submit your own piece.

I believe birthday parties are one of life’s necessities that help build self-esteem, friendships and memories that last a lifetime.

That’s why I launched a local chapter of Box of Balloons, a nonprofit that makes it possible for children in need to celebrate their birthdays.

Box of Balloons was started in 2013 in Wisconsin by Nicole Moll and now has chapters in several states. Her mission: “To make each birthday happy and every child celebrated!”

Birthday boxes include everything a child would need to celebrate their birthday with family and friends, including cupcakes, decorations, tableware, party favors, a game and gifts. Most of the boxes are personalized to the wishes of each child.

Box of Balloons

Box of Balloons works with elementary schools, social workers, shelters and homeless organizations to help identify children ages 12 and under who would benefit from the program. The child advocate helps define the child’s wishes for their birthday box and delivers the box to the child on or before their birthday.

The Douglas County Chapter started just a few months ago and has quickly grown. Jill Ihde has recently joined the chapter as a co-leader/volunteer coordinator.

Our first annual Egg My Yard fundraiser, for which we partnered with Just_us League, has helped gain awareness, monetary funds as well as community support in Douglas County. It will allow us to provide several birthday boxes to Just Food for their local families in need, a project we have in motion.

If you are a family in need and have a child with an upcoming birthday, please reach out to a school counselor, social worker, etc., and have them refer you.

Want to get involved?

There are several ways supporters can help Box of Balloons:

Sign up to volunteer

Sign up to “Build a Box”

Pledge your birthday

Make a monetary donation

• Donate party supplies/gift cards: Email

Box of Balloons
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